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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A 2-year-old boy who almost died from liver failure is back to his playful self after receiving a liver transplant from a living donor, his brother.

Earlier this year little Jared Mendoza from Edwards ended up at Children’s Hospital Colorado with acute liver failure.

“His eyes were highlighter yellow, and his skin was super yellow,” said Luis Mendoza, Jared’s 23-year-old brother.

Jared was placed on a transplant list, but a donation from a deceased donor did not become available. 

So, Luis stepped up to be a living donor, and doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado said it was just in time.

“After five days, it was so severe that I’m not sure he would have lasted many more days had his brother not been available to be his living donor,” said Dr. Amy Feldman, the medical director of liver transplants at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Donor’s liver regenerates after partial donation

A team at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital took out a small portion of Luis’s liver, and Dr. Megan Adams performed the transplant surgery at Children’s. 

“Especially for a small child or a baby, we only need to take probably 10 to 15 percent of the adult’s liver, and in both the donor and the recipient, that liver will be regenerated to the size it needs to be within six weeks,” Adams said.

Within days of surgery, Jared was feeling better. Luis said he is glad he could help his brother and he hopes other people will consider living donations.

“It feels great! I mean it hurts for a little bit, but at the end of the day you saved somebody’s life,” Luis said.

There are currently four babies at Children’s in need of a transplant.

If you would like to consider live donation, here is a link to more information.